Welcome to the Summer term: A letter from headteacher Helen Jones

Welcome to the start of the Summer term! It is a surreal statement to make during this time I know, but the reality is that somehow, we must still try to help our children prepare for the exams that we have been told they will still sit in 2021. My own daughter is also in year 10, and I fear that it is this year group who will be most affected by the pandemic as we cannot make up for learning time lost and lack of face-to-face contact with teachers. Our students have covered a great
deal of work so far and this will put them in a strong position to continue with their learning when we eventually open.

Form tutors will be trying to make contact with you this week to assist you with any problems/difficulties you may be having in supporting your teenagers. My daughter tells me regularly that she doesn’t need my help, until she tries to tackle Chemistry equations and then it is all out war, as I can’t remember how to do them either. We usually resort to YouTube or Google for some additional support at this point. All jokes aside, we teachers are struggling to support our own children with home schooling, so we sympathise with you all. We don’t expect you to become teachers overnight, just try to ensure that your child is at least attempting some work, and if you both come unstuck, let us know so that we can help.

Who knows when this situation will change? I know there is much talk about schools partially re-opening so that we can continue to work with our year 10 and year 12 students but no one wants to see children return to schools if safety cannot be guaranteed. In the meantime, our youngsters need to keep their minds active and to continue to tackle the work that is set for them. It is important that your child attempts and submits the work set as the teacher uses their responses to set the next task to ensure that progress is made. You can help us help you if you try to use the links, resources and materials that have been set for you. If they don’t work for you we need to know about it so that we can put things right. Similarly, if you do not have access to broadband (not 4G – that is different) we need to know as we may be able to help.

All information can be accessed via the links on the school’s website. We are setting up a dedicated page for our year 10 learners which you can find here.

Show My Homework is the platform that we are using to give instructions for all subjects so that needs to be your starting point. This is accessed using your child’s school email address and log on details so they shouldn’t have any difficulties using this. However, if for any reason they still can’t log on, please contact
your child’s form tutor to let us know.

Your child’s wellbeing is our primary concern at this stage. I have heard so many reports of young people struggling with anxiety provoked by this situation, and the amount of work that they think they have to complete. Be sensible. Two, three hours per day should be sufficient to ensure that they don’t forget everything that has already been covered, and shouldn’t cause too much stress if all links work properly and you can access the material. We have attached an example of a timetable for you to use on our year 10 web-page which may prove useful. If you need any help or support at all, please do not hesitate to email the school or your child’s form tutor in the first instance. A list of teachers with their email address is available on the school’s website when the page goes live.

Stay safe, stay happy and do your very best to keep learning. We are all in this together.

Mrs Jones